Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fuel taxes and oil industry profits...

Do we need a gas tax holiday? Is that going to solve our problem? No, it's just a short-term fix. Check out this American Petroleum Institute link for a PDF breakdown of fuel taxes in each state. Florida is among the highest at 51.6 cents per gallon.

Do we need an oil industry windfall profits tax? No. This interesting data from the Tax Foundation clearly shows that while oil companies profit, they still pay MORE in taxes than they make in profits. Click on the chart here for more...

According to the research:

"The answer to the first question is that over the past 25 years, oil companies directly paid or remitted more than $2.2 trillion in taxes, after adjusting for inflation, to federal and state governments—including excise taxes, royalty payments and state and federal corporate income taxes. That amounts to more than three times what they earned in profits during the same period, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and U.S. Department of Energy.

These figures do not include local property taxes, state sales and severance taxes and on-shore royalty payments."

Interesting don't you think?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finals are over!

Well tonight I took not just one final but two. I said "screw it" and when I got home from my Algebra final I logged onto WebCT and took my History final. It was challenging but I earned an "A" on it. Only missed two out of twenty questions. Just waiting on Prof to grade the second paper and hopefully I did well on that. I think my analysis of the two sides of the debate "Was the Confederacy defeated due to loss of will" was pretty good! I did take Prof's advice and incorporate the changes he suggested after he critiqued my first paper. I earned an "A" on that one and was hoping for the same on this one. As of last week, I had the highest grade in the class, with #2 more than a dozen points behind me. I've worked really hard in the course and I've enjoyed every minute of it. Our last discussion due Saturday is "what is the most significant event in History that we've covered in this course?" or something like that. Gee, where do I begin?

I suppose I should tell you about the Algebra final. We had two hours to take them, one was 20 questions bubbling the answers in on a scantron form--that was the department's final, the professor gave us a final with 16 of her own questions which we had to write out the work and the answers. The entire test was worth 150 points, 75 each. Prior to the exam, I had a "B+" grade with 478/550 points in the course and had I not taken the final I would have earned a "D" with 478/700 points. I only needed 20 points to earn a C in the course and 70 would have earned me a B. The only way I could have earned an A in the course was to score perfect on the exam. This course has been hard, really hard. I know the material but lose my mind on the test. I figure that I may wind up with about 60 points total on the exam and I'll have a C+. Frankly I don't care. Well I do care, but what can I do? I'm moving on to a logic/statistics/probability topics in math type course in summer and looking forward to it. It's very different from algebra, thank goodness.

I'm looking forward to summer. DH and I are going to try and go back to the college gym two days a week, we need to get back on our weight loss kick and we need to build up our strength. We've been feeling tired, getting aches and pains, damnit he's 34, I'm 38, we're too young for this!

In addition to that I'm taking the math course and another History--this one is World Civilizations which covers ancient history and it should be great. One of the assignments is to write a resume for a historical figure. Now in writing the resume we're not supposed to write it for a particular event, we're supposed to write it in general, highlighting the person's skills, abilities and such. I emailed mom today and asked her who I should write about and we just couldn't figure it out. There are so many great people. I had some ideas--Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Andrew Jackson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Joseph Rainey, oh hell there are a few others I can't recall right now. I also can't remember if the figure needs to be during that time period--I'll have to check the syllabus. I've got fifteen days before school begins so I'm not cracking open a text book till then.

Editing in...the historical figure can be a specific person like Alexander the Great or Muhammad, or a more generic individual like a soldier in the Crusades. Ok so that means this is specific to ancient civilization to the year 1600.

I think my project these next fifteen days will be to read Sherlock Holmes Volume II. If I can get through that I might just tackle a couple of classics.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What about the children?

The story about that Texas polygamist compound is just awful.

What's really sad here is the children who will suffer. Who is going to take care of these children? I sure as hell don't trust Child Protective Services.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Compromising on the issue of slavery...

We had a class discussion recently regarding the prelude to the Civil War and whether or not the Republicans should have accepted the "Crittenden Compromise" which was six Constitutional amendments and four resolutions proposed by Kentucky Senator John Crittenden, in a last ditch effort to avoid war.

The amendments included the prohibition of slavery north of the latitude 36 degrees, 30 minutes but that territory south of the line would recognize slavery and could not be interfered by Congress; Congress could not abolish slavery in DC as long as it existed in adjoining states, it could not be abolished without the consent of DC citizens; and compensation was to be given to owners who refused to consent to abolition. It stated that Congress would not interfere or prohibit interstate slave trade; would provide full compensation to owners of rescued fugitive slaves, and allowed Congress to sue any county which obstructed the fugitive slave laws; and no amendments could ever be made to the Constitution to ever change the six Crittenden amendments. The resolutions stated that fugitive slave laws were constitutional; that "personal liberty laws" (designed to protect slaves) were unconstitutional; and that the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 be modified by equalizing the fee schedule for returning or releasing alleged fugitives as well as limiting the powers of marshals to summon citizens to aid in their capture. Finally it called for the execution of laws for the suppression of the African Slave trade. (I mean after all who needed the Africans when there were plenty of blacks already in America?)

Every one of the six amendments proposed by Senator John Crittenden as well as three of the four resolutions in the Compromise supported slavery and would have been a concession to the south. It’s hard to believe that congressional Republicans were willing to compromise after all the time and effort on the part of thousands of people in the quest to abolish slavery. One of the biggest reasons there were tensions between the north and south were because the anti-slavery northerners wanted to impress their values upon the pro-slavery population of the south. The south wanted to be left alone, even those who did not own slaves did not like the northerners trying to force their culture in the south. The people of the south had a rich, strong heritage they were proud of and they were not eager for change. The whole basis of compromise is for opposing sides to make mutual concessions; they modify demands, claims and principles in an effort to avoid conflict. To accept the Crittenden Compromise would have been a total and complete failure of the abolitionist movement and a violation of principles and values on the part of every anti-slavery Republican who might have supported it.

Abraham Lincoln made a morally right decision in rejecting the Compromise. After all, he was elected in part because of his principles and stance on slavery and one thing is for sure is that Abraham Lincoln was a man of principle. Even though in his early years he did not call for the emancipation of slaves, eventually he changed his mind.

Here is an excerpt from a letter Lincoln wrote to a friend in August 1855:

“You know I dislike slavery; and you fully admit the abstract wrong of it. So far there is no cause of difference. But you say that sooner than yield your legal right to the slave -- especially at the bidding of those who are not themselves interested, you would see the Union dissolved. I am not aware that any one is bidding you to yield that right; very certainly I am not. I leave that matter entirely to yourself. I also acknowledge your rights and my obligations, under the constitution, in regard to your slaves. I confess I hate to see the poor creatures hunted down, and caught, and carried back to their stripes, and unrewarded toils; but I bite my lip and keep quiet. In 1841 you and I had together a tedious low-water trip, on a Steam Boat from Louisville to St. Louis. You may remember, as I well do, that from Louisville to the mouth of the Ohio there were, on board, ten or a dozen slaves, shackled together with irons. That sight was a continual torment to me; and I see something like it every time I touch the Ohio, or any other slave-border. It is hardly fair to you to assume, that I have no interest in a thing which has, and continually exercises, the power of making me miserable. You ought rather to appreciate how much the great body of the Northern people do crucify their feelings, in order to maintain their loyalty to the constitution and the Union.

I do oppose the extension of slavery, because my judgment and feelings so prompt me; and I am under no obligation to the contrary.”

The last part of the letter, “You ought to appreciate how much the great body of the Northern people do crucify their feelings, in order to maintain their loyalty to the Constitution and the Union” represents that while many people in the North disagreed with the institution of slavery, they did nothing because they thought that was better than possibly going to war with their fellow Americans over it.

In any case, for anti-slavery Republicans to have accepted the Crittenden Compromise would have meant compromising their moral principles and values in an effort to avoid having to stand up and defend them, possibly to the death.

And I suppose then comes the question--what is the point of having principles if you aren't willing to defend them?

The definition of "insanity"

...doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result each time.

The title of my blog is so appropriate, keep reading and you'll know what I mean. Of course right now a more appropriate title would be "You dumbass--didn't you learn your lesson the first time?" That would be me--the dumbass that is. I know, it's not often I call myself that, it's usually DH on the receiving end but this time it's me.

The lesson you'd think I learned was why not to leave my shoes on the back porch at night. Last night I left one pair of my Nikes out on the back porch because they had dirt on them and I didn't want to bring them in the house. I've done it several days this week and figured nothing would happen to them, so why would last night be any different? Of course it was at my own risk because one time DH did it and his shoes disappeared, first one, then the other. And now one of mine is gone. Good thing I have another pair. But still, what in hell am I supposed do with just ONE nike? If those little shits are expecting me to leave THAT one out there for them so they can have a matching pair, they are sadly mistaken.

Oh...who are "they?"

"They" would be the resident raccoon Maurice who is likely in cahoots with his brothers Robin, Andy and Barry. And perhaps the reason they didn't disappear sooner is because they had a concert somewhere. I think the last time DH's shoes disappeared, the perp was Sammy, who was, of course in cahoots with Dean, Frank, Joey, and Peter. But we haven't seem Sammy in a year, I think he and the rest of the "rac pack" are performing at the "Sands" in Vegas. Anyway when Sammy was here taking a vacation from the act, one night one of DH's shoes disappeared from the porch, next night the other disappeared. We eventually found DH's shoes in the woods but it had rained so much during that time we tossed them--yep we tossed a $60 pair of Nikes.

Today I walked out into five acres of woods searching for my shoe to no avail. But something told me that at any moment the damned thing would fall out of a tree and whack me in the head. And then I suppose I'd hear this raccoon cackle--something akin to the chipmunk laugh my mom used to say I had when I giggled.

Anyway, now I've got one shoe on the porch. Any thoughts on what I can do with it?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Words that work and words that don't...

The federal government is at it again. The powers that be in the "Extremist Messaging Branch" (what in hell is that?) of the National Counter-terrorism Center have released a memo circulating the halls titled "Words that Work and Words that Don't: A Guide for Counterterrorism Communication."

My first thought was "oh God here we go..."

Some excerpts:

"It's not what you say but what they hear" (perhaps we need to say "you f*cking radical piece of shit Islamo-fascist terrorist bastards can kiss my ass!!"--just a little louder?)

"Don't take the bait. We should offer only minimal, if any, response to their messages. When we respond loudly, we raise their prestige in the Muslim world." (0k, maybe we need to say "you f*cking radical piece of shit Islamo-fascist terrorist bastards can kiss my ass" but without the exclamation point)

"Never use the terms 'jihadist' or 'mujahedeen' in conversation to describe the terrorists. ... Calling our enemies 'jihadis' and their movement a global 'jihad' unintentionally legitimizes their actions." (Well that sucks, next time I have a conversation with a terrorist I guess I'll just have to make sure I remember that)

"Use the terms 'violent extremist' or 'terrorist.' Both are widely understood terms that define our enemies appropriately and simultaneously deny them any level of legitimacy." (ooooh violent extremist sounds so---so---dangerous!)

On the other hand, avoid ill-defined and offensive terminology: "We are communicating with, not confronting, our audiences. Don't insult or confuse them with pejorative terms such as 'Islamo-fascism,' which are considered offensive by many Muslims." (Oy vey)

"caution in using terms such as, 'jihadist,' 'Islamic terrorist,' 'Islamist,' and 'holy warrior' as grandiose descriptions." (Definition of islamic terrorist: A terrorist who commits terrorist acts in the name of Islam. How difficult is that to understand?)


If it looks like Islamo-fascism and smell likes jihad, well then that's what it is. You can call it what you like, but the truth is what it is.

Of course *sigh* this new lesson on how to speak correctly comes from the same government that insists we're going through a "slowdown" and not a recession.


Thanks Diana...

My good friend Diana wrote me recently. She lives about thirty minutes from me but with our busy lives we keep in touch more via email and letters than phone calls and personal visits. She wrote of how she wept for joy when she read my last email informing her of my graduation in December. Diana remembers the times I emailed her wondering if I really ever would obtain the college education I had dreamed about for so long. She is not just my former professor, but she is also one of my biggest fans and supporters. Had it not been for her urging me to do it, I may not have returned to college. Diana always knew I could do it, but I didn't always share her sentiment.

Diana and I met in 1993 when, at the age of 24, I entered college for the first time. I registered for fifteen hours that semester and her freshman comp was one of those courses. I performed well in the course at the beginning but wound up dropping out mid-term because I had to work full-time. Actually I didn't drop the course, I just stopped attending and so I failed it for non-attendance. Years later I emailed Diana and told her I wanted to go back to school and she encouraged me to retake her course. With grade forgiveness I was able to earn an "A" which nullified the "F". That was four years ago and I not only earned an "A" in that course, but an "A" in the next two higher level english and literature courses. I chose her as my professor for those courses as well because she is such an absolutely astounding professor, the way she teaches is the way I would teach. In class we discussed issues, we talked, we shared ideas and she fostered interaction between us in the classroom does not often take place in many courses.

I recall in our English Lit course, we discussed poetry. Now let me tell you that I used to say "I HATE POETRY" and I thought it was boring, but not with Diana. We read several poems, discussed their meaning and afterwards we understood and appreciated them so much more. Through those English courses, I learned not only how to improve my writing, but how to analyze and organize my thoughts and how to think critically. Diana maintains I was born with a gift for writing but that I needed the education to help me polish it. With each course I take, especially the writing intensive courses, I improve greatly!

Diana is not just my friend and former professor, she is my mentor and like a member of my own family. She has children my age, she even has grandchildren but she is young at heart and in mind. Diana puts great stock in her family. She is devoted to her husband, grown daughters, adult autistic son, her mother and her grandchildren. And now that she's retired, she has more time to spend with them. With all she has to do in life, there's one thing she's never given up and that's her activism. Diana is a huge activist for Autism, trying to raise awareness through enlightenment and education. We've had many discussions about immunizations and autism and I've learned a great deal from her. Diana is very active in political and social issues. She is very much a common sense type of woman. We've had so many talks about what's wrong with America (as well as what's right) and she's got her finger on the pulse of what's going on in this country. She is a very informed person. And when she believes in a cause she does NOT give up. I strive to be more that kind of person.

Like my family and friends Diana has always encouraged me to do my best. She knows that I have the capability to do anything I want to do in this life. She saw something special in me in 1993 but it needed work, much work. All these years later, I am a better person because of her guidance and mentoring.

When I think of Diana, I think of the poem by Dylan Thomas "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I will never forget the discussion we had about this poem in class and once I really understood what Dylan Thomas was trying to convey in this poem, it changed my life. I realized at that moment that our lives are that eternal struggle, fighting to live, fighting to survive. It's not necessarily a bad thing, the fight that is. For me the fight isn't against others, it's within myself as I suppose it is with many people. It's the continuous quest to keep pushing myself further because I know I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for.

I suppose in that respect maybe we're all a little guilty. If only we believed in ourselves and pushed ourselves and stopped being afraid, imagine what we could do. I used to give up easily, but not as much these days. That attitude keeps me positive--most of the time. It keeps me optimistic about people and the events going on in the world today. I try not to lose hope, I truly believe most people are good at heart and when times are tough, people can pull together to survive, we will prevail. It has to start at "home" though within each one of us. We can't pull together as a nation if we can't pull our own individual self together now can we?

Of course we can rage against the dying of the light only for so long, and then it is our time, no matter how much we fight it, it eventually flutters out and goes dark. But for now, while it's lit, we should keep fighting and do the very best we can do to be the kind of people we want to be, make the very best of our lives that we can, and do our part to make the world a better place.

The only way to get my legislators to reply to me...

is to be a Heisman award winning college quarterback. But since that's not likely to happen, I guess I'm just screwed.

The mullet wrapper reports "Tebowmania grips Tallahassee"

Apparently President Bernie Mac escorted Mr. Tebow to this grand event. Good thing there was nothing important going down that day :(

The purpose of the event was to award Tebow a Congressional "resolution" and the "medallion of excellence" which is Florida's highest honor to a civilian, for his work off the field. He is only the third Floridian to ever receive this honor. He's 20 years old, has a strong faith, good family values and has worked helping others, including as a missionary in the Philippines. Hey I think that's great, but there are a lot of people of all ages in this state who do great things to help make the world a better place, every day.

The difference?

They're not celebrities.

This just reinforces what we already know---that our legislators still have better things to do than tend to the real pressing issues facing Florida citizens. Our elected officials would rather spend their valuable time (paid for by you and me) meeting celebrities and throwing passes in the halls of the Florida Congress than reply to our letters, emails and phone calls about what they plan to do about the current economic crisis in this state, and then actually do something about it!

I say to my elected officials--if you're going to waste your time and my money like this, just pack your shit and get out.

Wanted: missing principles...

I thought it was funny that when Wesley Snipes received his sentence today he offered the court $5 million in checks to the IRS for his back taxes. Now where was the money before all this went down? He was so adamant before about not paying them based on his principles and beliefs but now he's changed his mind.

You don't just change your core beliefs, values, and principles--if you really and truly believe in them them--because you're afraid to defend them. I mean uh--what's the point of principles if you don't stand behind them and defend them when they are challenged?

I'm thrilled that Judge Hodges gave him this sentence. The Judge is a good man, he did the right thing. Of course, I'm slightly biased because he's the dad of a good friend of mine, but that's neither here nor there. The Judge is a decent and respectable man who takes his job seriously and he is not the kind of man to be swayed by celebrities. I am really glad he handed down this sentence because it's time to send the message that being rich and famous and having two dozen rich and famous character witnesses doesn't make you exempt from the law.

Now we'll see just how much time Wesley really serves!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Last week of class!!

UF is cutting back transfer admissions big time. They are cutting back 40% of their transfers in Liberal Arts and Sciences and beginning with over-enrolled majors like History. The college may decide to make things more competitive by raising the GPA required for admission and also on the preprofessional courses. So far I'll have a 4.0 in my preprofessional courses (all History courses) and I am pretty sure I'll earn an "A" in the Ancient Civilizations course I'm taking this summer.

I know I shouldn't worry, I'm a good student and UF takes care of its employees. But still I'd like to earn a spot by being competitive. I want them to WANT me in their program! Not saying that I'd get in with any less, but I just want to do the best I can.

My History prof this term told me not to worry about his course. I've got the highest grade in the class so far, with the next person eleven points behind me. I'm just near an "A" and he says there's no way the person who is third in line and some 20 points behind me is going to do so well that they're going to bump me out of an "A" especially given the work I submit for class. So there should be an "A" coming out of American History this term! I just turned in my paper yesterday. I think it was pretty damned good. I got an "A-" on the first paper, let's see how I do on this one. I began the paper Friday and finished it yesterday. I'd already read the text a few days earlier so I didn't rush this. It came out smooth, I didn't have to ponder too much. I really feel like this is a quality piece, mom and dad liked it. I hope the prof does too! I enjoy reading about the Civil War and this paper examined the contrasting opinions of two authors in regards to the cause of the Confederacy's defeat in the war.

As to Algebra, well, so far believe it or not I've got a B (84) in the class. I'm two points from a B+. However we've got a 150 point final coming up on April 29th. If I don't take the final, I'd have a grade of "D" in the course but of course I am taking it silly! I could score a 50 on it and still get a "C" grade. However I'm going to work really hard this week studying, I'd like to do really well. I haven't got a grade less than B in my degree, why would I want to begin now? But let me tell you that my test grades sucked this term. My algebra tests were 62.50, 79 and 62.50 again.

Yeah, as you can see, I suck when it comes to math exams. Anyway, the highest grade I could earn at this point is an 89.9=90 when you round it up is an "A". But that would require a perfect score on the final.

Yeah uh-huh, I don't think so!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Companies that suck part II...

I have this mental list of companies I've done business with who SUCK. Their customer service SUCKS, their products SUCK, everything about them BITES!

Who else can you add? I'll be updating periodically!

Winn Dixie
Radio Shack
Best Buy
Office Depot
US Airways
American Express

More to come...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Macs is home!

Deb called me a bit ago and said he is HOME! Little guy was a bit worn and tired but he's all in one piece! She'll be blogging about it later so you can read all about it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Missing dog in Cross Creek, Florida

My blog is read by a lot of people and maybe, just maybe there is someone in the Cross Creek area who will see this and be able to help!

Deb and Gary's beloved 14-year old Sheltie "Macs" is missing. Deb let him out for his morning routine as he has done every day for he past fourteen years of his life. This morning he didn't come back in the house. Deb and Gary have searched the woods, contacted neighbors, posted flyers and now just hoping, hoping he's ok.

Deb set up a blog at with a pic and info. He's a beloved member of the family and they are heartbroken over this.

Please, if you know anyone who lives in the area near Cross Creek, around CR 325, or someone who drives through there daily, please forward this information to them. Maybe we can help Macsy find his way home!

Chancellor Rosenberg's motto contradictory to recent events...

"At no time in Florida’s history has access to public universities been more important."

...Mark B. Rosenberg, Chancellor

What a joke!

That motto, my friends, is straight from the Florida Board of Governors website. Perhaps someone needs to remind Mr. Rosenberg & Co. that the Universities cutting of transfer student enrollment goes directly against that motto and will directly affect the future of the state of Florida.

I have an idea. Why not rescind some freshman admissions and admit only those qualified transfer students who are from Florida's public community colleges and Florida residents. Let the out of state folks attend universities in their home states.

Florida's educational institutions have a responsibility to the residents of this state first!

Dr. Phil the schmuck!

He had his staffers paid the $30,000 in bail money to get Mercades Nichols out of the Polk County jail so she could be on his show.

Don't know who she is? Click on her name above. She's one of what I have "affectionately" nicknamed the "Lakeland Eight" that is the group of teenage perps who participated in the assault and battery on Victoria Lindsey in Lakeland, Florida recently.

Gee, next thing you know Ms. Nichols will have a book deal eh?

And again, I ask what about VICTORIA LINDSAY?

She's the victim here, doesn't anyone give a shit about her?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Keep the attorney-client privilege and let an innocent man rot in jail?

I read a story in the paper today about a lawyer who was one of three who signed an affidavit in 1982 stating that one of the men they represented told them that another man (Alton Logan) represented by one of the other attorneys, was innocent of the crime of murder. The man making the confession to the lawyer said he was the one who did the killing, that Alton Logan had nothing to do with it. Knowing that he could not break the attorney-client privilege, the attorney representing the real killer did the only thing he felt he could do--have the other lawyers involved sign the affidavit with him and put the affidavit in a safe place until the real perp was executed or died in prison. His death sentence was commuted and he died in prison recently. Now they lawyers have come out with the affidavit. Will that help an innocent man who has been incarcerated the last 26 years--since he was 28 years old?

Who knows? But even if it does help, the man spent 28 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Anyone who knew and did nothing to help did this man a terrible injustice.

Attorney-client privilege is important but if it were me personally I do not think I could live with myself if I held evidence which supported the innocence of a person sent to prison. I do not think my conscience would let me. How did these lawyers sit on this all these years? Some might say that they weren't being selfish--they knew that they could still do good work and help others, so why sacrifice their legal career. But for me, I could not be a party to the incarceration of an innocent human being. Now there's no way to know that the innocent man would have been freed had the lawyers broke the confidence would have been the moral thing to try anyway.

Sure they would have faced disbarment and all the years they spent helping people afterwards never would have been. If this were me, I think that the right thing to do is to tell what I knew and face the consequences of my actions. In the end, I would know I did the right thing.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Make an example out of the "Lakeland Eight"

Here you go folks, take a look at the new faces of evil...

Stephen Shumaker, 18

Kayla Hassell, 15

Cara Murphy, 16

Mercades Nichols, 16

Brittni Hardcastle, 17

April Cooper, 14

Zachary Ashley, 17

Brittany Mayes, 17

In Lakeland, Florida, six teenage girls enticed another girl to a house and beat the hell out of her twice, the second time being once she came to after passing out from the first beating. Two teenage boys served as lookouts. Supposedly, but not confirmed yet, this beating was the first of what was to be many in retaliation for an alleged incident of the victim trashing the perps on MySpace. According to the victim's mother, she and her daughter had been notified that the daughter's account had been hacked. But it really doesn't matter WHY these vicious punks did this, they did it and they should pay dearly.

In their jail cell the bitches were observed laughing and joking about missing spring break because of the incident. One of the bitches asked a deputy if she would be released from jail in time for cheerleading practice.

The victim, Victoria Lindsay suffered a concussion from having her head banged against the wall repeatedly. She was beaten so badly her own father didn't recognize her in the emergency room.

It's about time we send the message to today's youth that society is not going to tolerate this. I say now is the perfect time to begin the lesson.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Would you allow the police to go snooping through your home?

What? Are you kidding me?

This outrageous story out of DC is yet another example of the government trying to get around the bill of rights--under the guise of safety of course. They're sending police door to door asking permission to enter and search for guns.

No, they not demanding people allow them into their homes, they are asking permission many people will feel intimidated to the point that they let the police into their homes? How many people are still ignorant of their rights? (I know, no excuse but...the police know the law and that matters!) The same people who are worried about saying a polite "no" to the police are the same ones who are likely to let the police search their car for no reason, because they are afraid to say no to the police.

The DC police chief and mayor used the example of "parents who know or suspect their children have guns in the home."

Amnesty is being offered to anyone with guns.

Yeah ok.

No way. No cops would be searching my home, I don't care what the reason. If you don't have a warrant and probable cause, you can kiss my ass.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

RIP Chuck...

It was the 1970's and "Planet of the Apes" was a huge hit. It seemed to be on television quite a bit and we watched it every time it was on. Who could forget "Take your stinking paws off of me you damn dirty ape!" and the shocked look on the face of the apes that the humans could actually speak!!!

That's the first time I saw Charlton Heston on film.

After that it was "Soylent Green" (his famous line "SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!" would become a mainstay in our family for years to come!), then "The Ten Commandments" (nobody else could do the voice of God like he could!) which was made years earlier but was our very first VHS when my folks bought our very first VCR in 1979. Over the years I was able to catch most of his other films including "Ben Hur", "Touch of Evil", "Midway", "The Omega Man", "Two Minute Warning", "The Agony and the Ecstasy", "The Greatest Show on Earth", and so many others. In my family we liked him in everything, even when he was cast as the patriarch of the Colby family in the Dynasty spin-off.

The man had a voice and a powerful screen presence, it was easy to like him. He was one of those men where either you loved him or hated him. In my family he was right up there with John Wayne, we loved him!

Not only was he a fantastic actor but he stood up for his moral and political beliefs not caring how much shit people gave him. He often traded words with his liberal counterparts in Hollywood, he was an outspoken person not afraid to speak his mind and when he stood up for something, you knew it. He was a kind, gentle man, who really cared about his work, his family and his fans. He also cared about his country. Charlton Heston was a civil rights advocate who marched with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, advocated against rap lyrics which glorified the murder of police officers and violence against women, and he was a staunch defender of the second amendment. He believed that Americans should have the ability to protect themselves with firearms from enemies both within and from outside our nation. He never wavered on his beliefs, never changed his mind depending on which way the wind blew. And when some of his fans disliked him for his position, especially when he became president of the NRA, he never once changed his stance to appease the masses. A man known for his integrity, he was---a patriot.

Chuck Heston was my mom's very first hero and has been for over 50 years. They had exchanged letters several times many years ago which mom still has in her scrapbook, I can't tell you how much those letters mean to her. Mom, the liberal Democrat, didn't care that he was a staunch Republican. She loved his movies, adored the man, even when he boldly brandished that rifle before the NRA and bellowed those words "I have only five words for you--FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!!", she didn't care, this was her idol, the man who would never break, never die.

Now the man who was larger than life is gone and even though we knew it would happen eventually, we hoped in the back of our minds, that maybe somehow it just wouldn't---not to him. But sadly, it did. And it is a great loss.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

We should lower the drinking age to 18...

If the age of "18" is adulthood then every 18 year old in this country should be considered an emancipated adult and should be allowed to indulge in all legal activities enjoyed by others who are older (like gambling, drinking, and using tobacco). The age of 18 is when individuals are legally allowed to make important legal and life decisions for themselves, and without parental consent.

Why then do we have ridiculous laws that prohibit 18 year olds from purchasing and consuming alcohol?

Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson supported changing the legal voting age from 21 to 18 and suffrage by 18 year olds came about as a result of the Vietnam war in which men who were 18 years old were sent to war but were not old enough to vote in the same government which sent them to war. Eventually all the states ratified the amendment lowering the voting age at 18.

As a result of the 26th Amendment, states began lowering the required age for certain acts like signing contracts and getting married--without parental consent--to 18. The states believed that an individual who had the right to vote could be considered an emancipated adult and as such states began lowering the age for entering into legal contracts, including marriage, without parental consent--to age 18.

The biggest issue here for me is the drinking age. In 1984 the federal government enacted the "Minimum Age Drinking Act" which required states to set the minimum age for purchasing alcohol at 21 years. States who did not abide by the law were threatened with a loss of 10% of their federal highway construction funds. The Act didn't outlaw alcohol consumption but some states do just that. However the states are not consistent, some have a ban on consumption completely, some have a ban with a caveat, and some have no ban at all.

MADD and other such organizations would have us believe that 18 year olds are not responsible enough to handle alcohol. Yet these same 18-year olds are considered responsible enough to handle complex and expensive military weaponry, go to war, fight in the infantry, and die in the line of duty. Yes, this reasoning is used by many but serving in our military is SERIOUS business. A person who is old enough to decide on their own to enlist in the military and fight for freedom is damn well old enough to make other choices. Now, the choices many 18 year olds will make won't make their parents or others happy and they will make mistakes, as we all did and still do, but damnit, either you're an adult or you're not!

I've seen plenty of those older than 18 who can't handle their alcohol or make responsible life decisions. But we have to let them make their mistakes because they are adults and as such they have to take responsibility for their actions.

The question here is simple. I don't care WHAT the statistics say. It's this easy:

Is "18" the age of adulthood in the United States?

If the answer is yes, if we consider 18 year olds to be adults and make their own decisions without parental or guardian consent, then we cannot pick and choose in which situations they can be considered adults. They must be considered adults in ALL situations.

I tell you what--I'd like to be the one to argue this case before the court. I'm sure there's plenty of caselaw out there support it.

Come on RedQueen get with it girl...

I'll tell you right now, straight from the hip--RQ is dynamite. She's intelligent, well-spoken, sassy, classy, a snappy dresser (I just love the red shoes!). And oh yes she has without a doubt a SUPERB sense of humor. She's a little demented in that way, kinda like my own family which is I suppose why I consider her the older sister I never had. In fact, my mom, dad, grams and younger sis accepted her into ours oh some 12 years ago!

But back to RQ, one thing she's NOT is consistent at writing in her blog. Oh I know she's busy, trust me VERY busy, but if anyone should be writing in a blog, it's her. I miss her wit and wisdom, when we get together we LAUGH oh boy do we LAUGH. We have lunch weekly--or well we try to, go figure we only work across the courtyard from one another, sometimes we get so busy we can't have lunch--but there's always our blogging, email and then the phone! Speaking of the phone, the other day she called me at my office while she was on her way to work. She was at the Prairie which is several miles out town and next thing I know I was hearing --over the phone mind you--her very "walking with a purpose" walk that only she has (I KNOW when she's in the hallway on her way to my office because of her walk LOL!). Well we had talked and laughed so long we had talked her right into her building!

RQ is like nobody I've ever met, she's got all the qualities you'd want in a friend, but most of all she makes me LAUGH and I can be myself around her. There are only a few people I can do that with--RQ, Susan, Jeanette, Jennifer--I just feel NORMAL around them, whatever NORMAL for me is!! And if I tried NOT to be myself, RQ would call me out on it and say in so many words of course "don't bullshit me Jess". Or maybe she'd say it just like that.

RQ and I have often talked of our BIG adventure, oh we've had a lot of small ones over the last twelve years, but we've been spending a lot of time talking about the "million dollar" idea, well we've had many but I know we've got a big one now. Anyway, it really isn't about the money so much as it is the idea of being able to "do it" like so many others have. There are people out there who have taken small seemingly silly ideas and gone really far. So there is NO doubt in my mind that RQ and I will be getting our newest adventure off the ground at some point, but in the meantime I'd love it if she blogged more.

I'm going through withdrawals RQ, you gotta post, you've just got to. There's so much stupid silly shit going on in the world, how can you NOT have material?!? And then there's your family---your dad has his own blog, your brother now has one, theres SO much material right there LOL. Hell my best material comes from my own LIFE!!!

Anyway, let's all encourage RQ to get her butt in gear!!


Friday, April 04, 2008

Just plain evil...

As I sit here listening to Mike Savage talk about the son of a bitch Palestinians who pulled the very old endangered sea turtle out of the ocean today and slit its throat, and how all the children smiled as the turtle flopped around dying, it made me sick. It's been a long time since I cried and since I felt like I was going to throw up but tonight I cried and I nearly threw up. I just put my head in my hands and cried, like some silly little girl. It was one of those moments when I felt ashamed of being a member of the human race.

Animals are innocent. They have no malice, they do not harm us intentionally, any action they take against a human is usually instinctive, defending their young, their territory or if they feel they are in danger. Animals can do no wrong, they have no conscience, no ability to discern right from wrong. They are as innocent and pure as it gets.

When I hear of a young person killing an innocent animal, I feel that kid should be put away for a long time. Because the senseless slaughter of an animal for pure joy is evil and that's a kid who will do much worse later on.

Recently I heard about "Circle" the duck who was minding his own business and some renegade evil kids came upon him and began shooting him with pellets, injuring his voice box. He's recovering thank goodness he'll be ok, and the judge issued a restraining order against the kids, to stay away from the duck.


And what they hell are they learning at home? If any kid of mine did that, God help them. They'd be in f*cking reform school boot camp in a heartbeat with no chance of coming home until they learned respect. No, a person, be it adult or child who finds joy in killing animals is a very deranged and sick individual.

Right now I am trying not to feel hatred, but it's hard. I feel nothing but hatred for people who behave in this way, I want them dead.

A question for you...

Say your company sponsors the annual Christmas party (planned and paid for by the company) at your house each year . Even though it's a company function it's at your house because everyone likes it there and you don't mind.

Wouldn't you be the person responsible to make sure that there's nothing illegal going on?

I say YES.

If you have a party at your house, regardless of who sponsors it, you need to make sure no laws are being violated. Sure you can't control the behavior of everyone but you also can't knowingly allow people to break the law. Take underage drinking for example. So you didn't pay for the you didn't plan it...doesn't mean you're not in any way responsible for anything that goes on there. If there's underage drinking going on, you have a responsibility to stop it, even if you aren't the individual(s) paying for the function.

What do you think?

**Editing in...I am posting this question after RQ's response to be more clear :) The reason I mention this issue is because I and those I know (of all ages) support it too. There are however, individuals who have in the past, at one time or another allowed such behavior to take place--at their house! Because I've had people at my house before and have never had a problem because you see, I feel that it is my responsibility to be sure everything is "kosher" I decided to find out how the masses out there feel too. Seems we're all in agreement--and frankly I think it's just plain common sense.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Three weeks left in the term!

With three weeks left in the semester, I have a "B" in Algebra and a "B+" in History. I've got one more regular exam and then the final in Math, along with assignments between now and then. And I've got two exams and another writing assignment in History.

A "B" in Algebra is more than I could have hoped for. In the non-exam average which is ALL other assignments I have an "A". I'm banking on those points to save me if I don't do well on the final. I hate tests!!

As to the History course, an average of 47/50 points on each of the two tests and 47/50 on the final writing assignment will earn me the "A".

Wish me luck!

Oh yeah I should mention this--DH has a final grade of 97.5 = "A" in his welding course this term! In fact he's already a semester ahead in his work!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A little advice...

Remember some 30 or 40 years ago when you were a sophomore in college and you partied all night long with your college pals and drank till you lost your mind and passed out? Do you remember the next day when everyone told you what a complete and total asshole you had been?

Yeah, you remember. You were so cool!!

Ok, now I have news flash for you jackass--it's not cool anymore. Nobody thinks you're funny, not one bit, in fact others around you are embarassed by your blatantly obnoxious loud mouth and behavior. Look in the mirror pal, you're past middle age, you not only have children but you have grandchildren, you're a person who is well-known by many, you've got responsibilities, you're a G-R-O-W-N-U-P now.

Quit acting like a stupid jerk.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Made in China = piece of shit

I thought of starting a new blog titled "cheap shit that doesn't work" but I figured out that there aren't enough hours in my day to possibly cover all the shit that doesn't work. What I'm referring to is the cheap-ass crappy shit that's normally made in China and sold at your friendly neighborhood Wally World. But hell, since just about everything is made in China these days, you can feel free to substitute the favorite discount store of your choice in there, doesn't matter to me, they're all shit anyway.

If you read this post, I want you to think about the most recent thing that's broken on you--hair dryer? kitchen utensil? alarm clock? Lamp? Tell us about the shit you have that's made in China (because gee is ANYTHING made here anymore?) that has broken recently.

My most recent episode of shit that doesn't work was a spatula. Yes, your average kitchen variety spatula. DH bought it for me a month ago and I've used it half a dozen times and it fell apart while cooking eggs the other day. Just POOF-fell apart, just like that, no warning, nothing. And there I was with a big ass Texas size omelet and trying to flip it in that monstrous Texas size pan, with a half a spatula with NO handle.

It was well--pathetic.

DH bought the spatula at Publix and thought I should get in touch with them about it but frankly, you get what you pay for. You buy cheap shit, it falls apart. Ask my grandmother how many of those cheap plastic radios she's gone through which have eaten God knows how many of my Old time radio shows on cassette! I finally BEGGED her to stop using those cheap-ass Chinese pieces of shit because all my tapes were getting ruined.

Anyway what piece of shit item have you dealt with lately?